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 ECU tuning

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johnny quek
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PostSubject: ECU tuning   Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:32 pm

Hi, i got a quote from monster tune. tuning cost $888. power gain 34bhp. any advice?
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:48 pm

Not expensive, in fact cheap. We all paid $100K+ to get 156bhp. So for $888 another 34 bhp is cheap right? Laughing
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Yodafia
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:06 pm

Blue850r wrote:
Not expensive, in fact cheap. We all paid $100K+ to get 156bhp. So for $888 another 34 bhp is cheap right? Laughing



But do check that if $888 is for per tune. What I understand is that I have a friend who work free lance with some workshop to do the ECU Mapping, he is paid $1700 for 3 rounds of tune for each vehicle. The workshop sure will mark up the price for the tuning. My friend was sharing that the minimum times to have a effective and accurate tuning process is 3 times. This is due to the different driving style that each of us have.

Apologies if the information given is not correct coz I have not tried it personally. Just sharing what I heard from a friend.
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:18 pm

If it is local guy that is doing the tuning, I wouldn't go for it.
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johnny quek
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:20 pm

X factor charged $750 for the tuning and the gain is 19bhp. What i concern is any gimmick to "mark up" the bhp gain(no offence).
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:49 pm

It is difficult to tell unless you dyno the car before and after
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Yodafia
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:45 pm

Blue850r wrote:
If it is local guy that is doing the tuning, I wouldn't go for it.

tongue Does that mean if Bangla do, you will go? [Note: I am no racist.]
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:42 am

That will be worst Evil or Very Mad

Now jokes aside, This tuning thing is not as simple as it seems. There are many tools (software) out there that can re-programme the fuelling, spark timing.....So anyone can alter the factory program. All you need is someone with some knowledge can do it.

But doing well is really something else. Just like cooking. Me and you can probably cook some dishes but to cook really well, it needs years of experience.

Tuning is a black art. I have in the past done these things and along the way blown engines too. The tuner only bear responsibility at the point of tuning (at best). The long term effects only comes later. angry
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johnny quek
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:40 am

Thks for your advicd, bro.
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:17 am

Having said all the negative warnings but we are still itchy at heart Laughing
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kiangsiang
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Hi guys. I was tempted to tune my pug gaining extra 15bhp.
But I have asked advice from Thomas T&P and he didn't encourage me to do so. He was saying that our computer will slowly adjust to factory setting as the engine wasnt built / designed for the extra bhp.
Just to share :-)
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ozzie75
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:51 am

johnny quek wrote:
Hi, i got a quote from monster tune. tuning cost $888. power gain 34bhp. any advice?

Maybe a piggyback might be a viable option instead of an invasive alteration to the stock ECU?
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:01 pm

Just to share and contribute here. Open for discussions so that we can learn from one another.

Hopefully it will help all to understand more. For this post, I will just talk about the factory ECU. I will subsequently share more about the different tuning approaches and why some work and some don't under this thread.

The ECU consists of logic and data sets.

The logic portion is like a computer program with tons of codings and formulas to compute data and execute actions. The conditions are programmed by a programmer. The input to the program are from the data sets and the real time readings from all the various sensors in the car. The output are actions to control the amount of fuel (the duty cycle of the fuel injectors), ignition timing of the spark plugs etc. The logic is something which cannot be tuned. So sometimes when we say that a car's stock ECU is retarded, basically we are blaming the logic.

For the data sets, some people will call them maps. About 75% of these maps contains fixed data. The remaining 25% contains variable data, which are from your fuel trims etc. This portion is where we usually call the self learn mode of the ECU. Most of the time, the variable data can be reset to factory default simply by disconnecting the current from the ECU.

That means the factory ECU is only 75% tuned.

For the maps, a typical ECU has 300+ maps. Just for Air/Fuel alone, there are already dozens of map. But there is actually only one main map and the rest are factor maps. The main map is a air/fuel ratio map. The ECU will inject the amount of fuel depending on the amount of air in a preset ratio. As long as the range of the table is not exceeded, usually there is no need to tune.

However, there are other factor maps that are numerical specific. One important map is the Throttle Map. This map influence the main Air/Fuel map base on the Throttle position. It does not consider the amount of air. Another important map is the temperature map. Cars with two O2 sensors will use the different readings from the two O2 sensors to compute the working temperature of the catalytic convertor. The ECU logic then lookup the temperature map and derive a numerical factor. This numeric factor is computed together to the amount of fuel that needs to be injected. Example: cat temperature too hot, inject more fuel to run richer so as to cool down the cat.

Depending on the conditions in the logic. Some ECU may have factor maps that will govern the operating conditions of the engine such that it does not exceed certain operating parameters.
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:34 am

As for this i am not sure but as far i know my racechip works well and also not worry about the ECU changing back to factory setting. But i did look into a forum in UK saying next time like now BMW or Mer the ECU will be lock or even some have a Data Log like VW now they use that to scan if you ever Remap before. So using a Tuning box something like racechip is better. Smile That is what i have read in half year ago. I am not sure how cfm is that
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:56 am

If the remap is done directly to the ECU, then the ECU will stick to it. Will not revert to factory setting.

Those tuning that subsequently goes back to factory tuning are those that use boxes to trick the ECU reading. E.g. Unichip

The basic question is if we use a set of maps tuned by a local person, we are throwing away much of the R&D of factory. The local tuner interest at this point is only to collect his fees while putting in a set of maps that increases power and also stress into the engine.

He won't know the long term effects or internal damage (if any) to the engine.

Indirectly, we are saying Doctor Pierre has worst knowledge than Tan Ah Kow.
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:22 pm

This is true.

Nowadays ECU are getting smarter. Many have mentioned that piggybacks (also known as interceptors) are slowly phasing out.

For ECU reflash or remap, basically the changes are done directly on the ECU, hence there are no default values to revert to.

Also do note that there is a limit to what a piggyback can modify as they are just modifying signals going in or out of the ECU. For ECU reflash or remap, we also got to see which maps you are altering. As mentioned, there are so many factor maps besides the main A/F map. And it also depends on whether the tuner has access to those maps besides the main map.

In the ECU, there is a counter which will indicate the number of times the ECU has been flashed. The car out from the factory will have this counter set to zero. When the service center upgrades your ECU program and data, this counter will be increased and they will track. If you are reflashing your ECU outside, the tuner must have a way to reset this counter back to the original value. Not all tuners have the tool to do this or have access to this counter on the ECU.

R&D has been done by the car manufacturer to ensure that the engine is working well and can last in daily driving conditions. It depends on the factory tuning. Some may say that certain factory tuning are too conservative. But point to note is that the factory tuning for some cars needs to allow the cars to operate in different conditions (weather, air density, fuel quality etc). This is so that the same car can be sold to different parts of the world. You can say that there is some buffer or tolerance factored in. This buffer can also be viewed as potential. How much buffer or potential the factory tuning has, it varies from car to car. So some cars after tuning (base on stock setup) will give more % gain than others.

If performance is what one wants to seek, you are actually reducing the buffer/tolerance that has been catered for by the factory tuning. Whether the tuner knows the limit of the particular's car engine, this comes with experience of the tuner with that engine. However, do note that you should not be tuning or pushing out the performance of a stock engine as if it is a purpose built race engine. So the more you tune it to the limit, you are doing so at the expense of the life span of the engine. This also means that you will end up with a very narrow margin of tolerance. Of cos one may debate that it should not be an issue given the typical car ownership period in Singapore.

Usually people modify their cars, and will usually start with mods that affects intake and exhaust. As long as the modifications do not exceed the operating range catered for in the ECU, there is usually not be a need to tune if the ECU can handle it. When you mod, usually means you want better performance and it also means you will need to burn more fuel. The stock ECU is usually capable of adapting itself to simple modifications. A lot of times the tuning comes in more of as a correction i.e. after modifications your FC becomes super bad. The tuning helps you to get an optimum performance with the mods if the factory ECU is not able to adapt properly, and probably get back the original or even better FC.

1. Tuning on a stock car is usually to reduce the buffer or tolerance that has been factored into the factory tuning to achieve better performance.
2. Tuning on a slightly modified car is usually more of a correction. That's why there is always this saying, stay stock is the best. Why complicate things?
3. Tuning on a heavily modified car is usually because the car is purpose built. If your car is a point A to point B daily car, not advisable to go this route. The tuning in this case involves a lot more things, and in most cases, an aftermarket standalone ECU instead of the original ECU is the way to go.
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:06 am

Well many of these theories are very true but I can only say this.

In the past, I have seen many well known local shops and tuners mod cars, I can't mention their names for obvious reasons. Much money had been dump into these cars. The results are usually disappointing. Although they claim very high bhp output ( some verified by dyno) after tuning but when we run them side by side with stock standard cars, most (not all) mods cars are slower in terms of 0-100km/h and quarter mile timing.

If you sit in their modded cars you swear they got more power by butt-o-meter. But when they face Gtech results, the owners face become black and long.

Do you realised many tuned cars, the owners/tuners are not willing to verify it with Gtech timing? Why? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Fri Oct 26, 2012 10:40 am

Agree.

Seen for myself too.

So among some of my peers, we are now saying "stay stock is the best".

Thup
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Blue850r
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PostSubject: Re: ECU tuning   Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:38 pm

Usually we can get away with stage one tune. The map must also come from those tested and proven maps from German/Nordic tuning house. These guys are good at these things.
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